Friday, October 8, 2010

But by the Grace of God I am what I am


“But by the grace of God I am what I am” (1 Corinthians 15:10)

This should be the banner over every soul born into this world. The poor man and the rich man alike should say, “But by the grace of God I am what I am.” The sick man and the healthy man alike should say, “But by the grace of God I am what I am.” All humans are blessed by the grace of God.

Paul writes to the church of Corinth the importance of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul says the message of Christ death and resurrection is the message of first importance. Paul had a background of one who was a persecutor of the church. He was an avid opponent of those who were followers of Jesus Christ. He did not recognize the gift of God’s grace in his own life and he hated those who were saved by God’s grace. But Paul was met by the Creator of the universe on the road to Damascus. He was given eyes to see the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul went from being a persecutor of the church to the leading figure of the church. Paul could easily say, “But by the grace of God I am what I am.”

What about us? Maybe this was just something Paul said but does not apply to each of us. As I mentioned above all of us should say, “But by the grace of God I am what I am.” There are those who acknowledge this reality and those who care nothing about God’s grace yet receive it still. “For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matt. 5:45). All people are recipients of God’s grace. What separates the executive businessman from the homeless man? Grace. I know the arguments flood in about the businessman working hard to be a businessman and not a homeless man. Those arguments are correct but every step along the way is nothing but God’s grace. But even the homeless man has received more from God than he actually deserves therefore he receives grace as well. This is amazing! God gives grace to all of us therefore all of us ought to say, “But by the grace of God I am what I am.”

Christian, do you understand how great of grace you have receive from God for saving your sinful soul? I wrote this post because I needed to be reminded of this truth as well. Not only have we received God’s common grace but we have been lavished with his saving grace as well. This grace is not received by all but only by those who repent of their sins and place their trust in Christ’s atoning work upon the cross. Remember Paul’s message of first importance? This is the message that saves sinners. Ponder this a moment. You were born but then God gracious preserved your life until that day when your eyes would be opened to the glorious gospel. God’s common grace preserved you until the day he saved you by his grace. What boasting does any Christian have but in the cross of Christ alone? If you are a Christian keep this in your mind, “I did nothing to earn God’s saving grace!” “By grace you have been saved through faith and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God, not as a result of works so that no man may boast” (Eph. 2:8-9). Grace is a gift of God not based on anything you have done to earn it. O the flag flying high above our heads should say nothing more than “But by the grace of God I am what I am.”

Grace upon grace,
JRL

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